Hi, I am having some trouble laying out a permanent bed design and would like to ask for some help.
Unlike most fields, mine come in funky shapes as these are all terraced plots.
I want to have standardized beds and preferably straight which comes with all the benefits like even row cover, insect netting and tarp lengths in addition to making calculations for seeding, planting, crop rotation, harvesting and profit much easier. However, if the field isn't straight you will obviously end up with wasted corners.
Its about 1600m2 in total which i want to occupy with 10 meter beds 75 cm wide.
I made a sketch of a possibility with all blue colored beds meaning irregular bed fill ups for perennial crops for example.
Of course designing is one thing, and actually laying these out in practice is much more difficult.
Would you be inclined to focus more on the contours of the plots and create slightly curved beds instead? Or do you see other possibilities?
Thanks in advance!
I would keep the beds straight if you end up using row cover or weed membrane it won't be easy to install on a curved bed. I totally agree with the idea of big things in the random corners, pumpkins and squash do not play nicely in neat rows and always sprawl, I found mine were managing to crawl across four beds this year.
That big triangle in the middle, you could use that for tool storage or a hard standing area for collecting everything together. How is access? you say it's terraced so I guess you can't just drive up and down between the fields, and I can certainly tell you that a wheelbarrow is not big enough for moving harvest/rolls of fabric around, so remember to leave space to get a decent sized vehicle down to all of the field blocks.
I'll second Skandi's comment about straightness. The fabrics all are easier to deal with if straight. Also good for drip irrigation lines.
On the 10M front, I'd be flexible to some 8-9M rows "fitting the plan" since you can just roll up some extra fabric on those rows.
I'm heading towards another point... in your lower left hand block the direction of the rows changes, presumably for a strict adherence to the 10M length.
The change in direction can be frustrating (I know from experience on our farm) both for walking, and even more so for moving carts/wheelbarrows/equipment like a 2wheel tractor.
I also like the filling in with perennial or "spreading" crops in the weird spaces.
Some people/places to look for inspiration:
Jean Martin Fortier
Singing Frogs Farm (permanent beds on terraces!)SFF website